Archangel's Blade, by Nalini Singh, is the fourth novel in her 'Guild Hunter' series. First I'd like to thank a fellow flock member, Alaina, for introducing me to this series. I knew and loved Nalini's 'Psy-Changeling' books but had yet to dip my feet in this saga. I am REALLY glad I did!
The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past...but Dmitri's need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.
Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel's right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality...the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.
As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting...and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more...
Now this is going to be a good side/bad side review. There were a lot of pluses that I loved but a few significant negatives I want to explore in depth. First up on the good side we have Dmitri, a vampire who's lived for over a millennium. He's been there and done that, with twins! The guy's bad as can be and unapologetic about it. Lethal and smelling of the sweetest dark chocolate. Yeah baby! There is a ton of build up on how great he will be in the sack but when we finally got down to it I was disappointed. Maybe it was his partner or maybe he just wasn't on point that night (it's ok guys, it can happen to anyone!) but there was a bit of lack luster that had me feeling like it was same wash rinse and repeat but with a different partner. He does let his gal get more touchy feely then his usual bimbos but overall I wanted some SHABAM! in my smut.
Honor is a Hunter with the Guild who has never known her parents, she was dropped off at a monastery as an infant and roamed from foster home to foster home until she joins up with the angel gang. She's cute, fun and determined. I liked her, liked her past and the harsh rape she's trying to get over. Emotional trauma makes for great reading and bonding with a partner who knows all about it. Dimitir understands her trauma because he's going through his own loses from way back when and it's heart wrenching. And while things are building between these two he kinda just claims her as his play thing, no asking just says "you will be in my bed". Or in guy talk "I am man hear me roar. Now go get me a sammich". *rolls eyes* Men. BUT that aside I really wanted to know more about Honor. Her past, her thoughts and friendships. Unfortunately there was no resolution about who her family was, where they went, why they dropped her off...Nada.
Possession and reincarnation in stories is great, I enjoy it, but when it starts to take away from the main characters it starts to bug the nerves. I would have liked more in the here and now and less in the past mind of Dmitri's ex, Ingrad. Sad as it was I felt a little too much time was spent there. It was also odd that all of a sudden this long dead woman's voice starts showing up in Honor's mind. No talks about how it maybe was happening, all her life the voice that talks back or something like that, just one day she starts hearing a voice. O...k..
Investigations and some action build to the plot-line and interaction between our main couple. Honor takes the hard steps into putting her life back together, with close friends and a will of her own she comes far from beginning to end of this story. While I liked the building of drama and more insight to the Seven angels led by Raphael and Dmitri I wanted more dialog between our main couple. More that leads them from point A to B.
Overall this is a very well written book that adds to saga as a whole but nothing so fantastic I want to shout it to the moon. It's good, Nalini brings action and emotion into all her stories but again, I wanted more. Needy as that may be I truly hoped this story would blow me away. Recommending this book strongly to all the PNR lovers out there and I will say go around and check what other folks are saying too.
Getting 4 'Wrap me in dark chocolate' Sheep